THE Dragons have been urged to scrap like former Wales captain Colin Charvis in their fight to avoid propping up the United Rugby Championship.

With the Six Nations done and dusted, Dai Flanagan’s side start their seven-game run-in with a daunting clash against the second-placed Bulls.

The Dragons are currently one from bottom of the URC and are set for a battle with the Sharks, Scarlets and Zebre Parma to avoid being the worst side in the league.

It has been another testing campaign for the Rodney Parade club but all their highs have come on home soil with victories against the Ospreys, Oyonnax and Scarlets.

They were on a three-game winning streak in Newport until overpowered by the Sharks 29-9 to be dumped out in the group stages of the European Challenge Cup.

Home form is key to the Dragons staying above the Sharks, who are a point back, and reeling in the Scarlets and Zebre, who are a point and three points ahead respectively.

Head coach Flanagan wants his side to show that they are made of stern stuff in the closing weeks of the season.

The head coach said: "Our job is to go 'this is what the Dragons are built on and what we are good at’. We need to find that and show it and there is no better time than Saturday.

“It's about outworking teams and keeping the ball for long periods in the right areas. We need to win a lot of scraps.

“We have to win 50/50s – they have to be 70/30s. I've played at Rodney Parade and it was horrible, it was a 70/30 every time that the ball went on the floor and they prided themselves on that.

South Wales Argus: Colin Charvis in action for the DragonsColin Charvis in action for the Dragons

“Colin Charvis & Co never lost 50/50s and that is our job. Win more of them and we win more games.

“We've got six of our last seven in Wales and that is exciting. We want to climb as high as we possibly can in the league.”

Given the gap between the top and the bottom in the URC, head-to-heads will be key in the mini-league in the bottom quarter.

None of the quartet has yet beaten a top-half team and they have a combined tally of six successes.

Zebre's only win of the season came against the Sharks in Parma while the South Africans' only success was against the Dragons.

Flanagan's men have beaten the 10th-placed Ospreys and Scarlets while the west Walians doubled 12th-placed Cardiff.

The Dragons host Parma in the next round and finish against the Scarlets at Cardiff City Stadium, a game that takes place the day after the Italians end the campaign against title-chasing Glasgow.

Dwayne Peel’s side travel to Parma and host the Sharks, who have five of seven games at Kings Park.


Zebre (14 points): Leinster (H), Dragons (A), Connacht (A), Glasgow (H), Edinburgh (A), Scarlets (H), Glasgow (A).

Scarlets (12): Benetton (H), Glasgow (H), Edinburgh (A), Sharks (H), Ulster (H), Zebre (A), Dragons (N).

Dragons (11): Bulls (H), Zebre (H), Benetton (A), Connacht (H), Stormers (H), Ospreys (A), Scarlets (N).

Sharks (10): Ulster (H), Edinburgh (H), Glasgow (A), Scarlets (A), Benetton (H), Cardiff (H), Bulls (H).